There’s a new dinner table in town, and it’s one that’s close to the heart. It comes with all the necessary accompaniments of your parent’s house: a doorbell to get in, old shiny silverware, and a long table that seats about 10. Dinner Table is tucked in the back of the East Village bar, The Garret, and it doesn’t get any homey or tastier than this. Once you get past the speakeasy like entrance, you’ll see about two small tables, a larger communal one, and a few seats at the bar that look over the stoves where husband and wife Scott and Angie Tacinelli are manning the pans. They are the cutest duo who just left amazing uptown Italian steakhouse, Quality Italian, to bring a little comfort downtown in a smaller capacity (20 seats). Start with the Garlic Pretzel and house made cheese. This basically tastes like a bagel with awesome dipping sauce. The great thing about Dinner Table is that you can really order everything on the menu as there are only 13 dishes, so if you go with a party of 4 (which is the max seating for one group), you are set. Everything is also on the lighter side as a whole, yes, even the lasagna for two. There are just enough pieces of everything in each dish that you get enough, but you still feel hungry before the next plate arrives which is really hard to do when you order a lot!
I loved the Smoked Shortrib Tartare with horseradish on marble rye. There are 4 squares, and it’s fresh and meaty. The Eggplant Carpaccio with farro, spicy peanuts, and mint is probably my favorite of the more appetizer style dishes. The thinly cut vegetable mixed with the crunchy farro and peanuts makes for a fabulous collaboration. This is one piece of the meal that I really could have used a second slice of. The Baked Mussels are also fun because they are huge and stuffed heavily with pepperoni rice. Yeah, who sees that regularly on a menu? This is the perfect size for this plate as you really only need one good hefty bite. The Scallop Crudo with uni and chili breadcrumbs is a refreshing seafood cleanser between all of the meat dishes. It’s not a heavy uni flavor, so if you aren’t an uni fan, I’d say still go for it, and if you are an uni obsessor, don’t expect globs of it. It’s enough to give you that flavor but doesn’t overshadow the crudo.
My absolute favorite dish of the evening was the Lasagna Bolo for Two. With 5 delicately rolled up pieces of lasagna surrounded by a red sea of tomato sauce, this untraditional lasagna dish is what every lasagna out there should look up to and aspire to be. It too, also feels light weight even though it’s pasta, and something that you don’t feel ill after indulging. Then again, you really only get one roll up if you are with a group, so these chefs really help you control your portion size. I could have eaten at least three of these. I will admit that I did request another order for dessert, but stopped myself after seeing the Chocolate Taco. Back to the lasagna for one sec, it’s truly delectable. It’s not overly rich or meaty, yet it’s soft, full of amazing tomato flavor, and sprinkled with just a little meat to give you that traditional lasagna satisfaction. I also love how it’s served in a dutch pan which also alludes to the feeling of being at your home dinner table.
Now onto that Chocolate Taco that Business Insider documented. It’s a waffled chocolate cookie dough shell that’s soft with a little crunch but not too much to break upon first bite. Inside is espresso gelato and nutella brownie. This is the winning chocolate ticket, folks. You can each order your own as they definitely can be personal sized. They fit right in your hand, are not messy, and each bite of ice cream, hard chocolate, and peanuts brings you back to your childhood days. Reminds me also of those Drumstick ice cream cones with the peanuts, and chocolate at the bottom of the cone that came in a blue box. Heaven.
Dinner Table is closed on Monday’s. Make sure you get here before 7 p.m. if you want to be seated immediately or come with a date and sit at the bar area. The good thing about this restaurant is that it’s inside The Garret bar, so you really can just have a couple drinks outside of the restaurant while you wait. Great date spot!